You need to put your best foot forward when trying to achieve excellence. Every stance and movement in martial arts requires poise, and keeping a firm footing ensures a solid foundation for success. Form-fitting Hy-Gens™ shoes from AWMA combine the benefits of a sports shoe with the natural feeling of being barefoot, giving you the freedom to move and the confidence to excel. Before making a purchase, consider your requirements carefully, including your shoe size.
Reasons to Buy Martial Arts Shoes
It's common to perform martial arts with bare feet; however, there are several good reasons for wearing training shoes.
- Hygiene: Training with bare feet increases the risk of fungal infections.
- Protection: Some training locations may have uneven or rough flooring, so there is a chance of foot injury. The soles and additional padding on training shoes reduce the likelihood of such injuries.
- Training: If you're studying martial arts as a form of defense, it's a good idea to train wearing shoes occasionally. This simulates the reality that you're unlikely to slip off your shoes before defending against an attack in real life.
Benefits of Hy-Gens™ Shoes
It's very unlikely that an instructor will allow you to wear regular shoes or sneakers during a class, especially if they don't match the dojo's uniform requirements. Such footwear is likely to be very heavy, which impedes movement and proper form, and tires your leg muscles rapidly. Sneakers with ankle support may also prevent your ankle rotating during certain movements and training exercises. Training shoes are lightweight, comfortable, and more hygienic than training with bare feet; but they still add weight to your feet and, in some cases, limit the amount of protective sparring gear that can be worn. Hy-Gens™ shoes provide the additional support and protection of a training shoe, but they're form-fitting.
When performing martial arts, you require some grip to maintain poise, but shoes with too much grip may prevent you from moving freely. Hy-Gens™ shoes have a special non-slip, non-grip sole that still allows you to twist and pivot easily.
Buying the Correct Size
Hy-Gens™ shoes are available in sizes ranging from small to extra-large, with different fits for children, women, and men. A good fit is essential to ensure comfort and to minimize the risk of foot injuries. Despite the form-fitting nature of Hy-Gens similarly, you don't want your heel to slip, which may result in the shoe coming off during a routine.
To find the correct shoe size, measure your foot with a tape measure from the heel to the tip of your longest toe. Be aware that many people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other, so measure both feet and then use the largest value to determine the size of shoe you require. Also, remember that when you're standing, your feet flatten slightly as they support your weight, so don't take the measurements sitting down. Stand upright, with your weight shifted forwards, and ask someone else to take the measurements for you.
After measuring your feet, refer to a sizing guide to convert the measurement into a US shoe size. You may refer to one of the many good sizing guides available on the internet, or you can visit a local shoe store to get your feet measured by a professional fitter. Your instructor may also be able to advise you.
Buy or Borrow?
Some martial arts classes and gyms provide training equipment, including footwear. Trying on some communal shoes, or borrowing a pair from someone you know, gives you a chance to take them for a test run. After a single class, you should know if you enjoy the sensation of wearing form-fitting shoes, or if you prefer to remain barefoot. Additionally, you also get a better idea of what size and style you like. However, regularly wearing shoes that aren't your own has some associated hygiene concerns, and there's always a chance your instructor won't have a pair available in your size.
By purchasing your own equipment and accessories, you're always ready for a sparring session or workout, and you don't need to rely on anybody else. You also have the opportunity to purchase a style and color that fits your preferences, which is important because equipment you like has the potential to empower you, boosting your confidence and providing the necessary support and control you need. AWMA Hy-Gens™ shoes provide a natural feel with easy movement while training, and still protect feet from abrasions and infections.